The NHS is reportedly eyeing up plans to house patients in hotels after hospitals have become overrun with Covid-19 patients, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed.
Speaking to Sky News, Hancock said that there are “huge pressures on the NHS and, as you’d expect, we’re looking at all different ways that we can relieve those pressures”.
It comes as more than 35,000 Covid-19 patients are currently in hospital across the UK, with the NHS under an increasing amount of strain.
Whilst the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London is beginning to take in extra patients, plans to discharge some patients early to hotels to free up beds form part of a range of alternative plans that are being considered “in case there’s more that’s needed”.
Commenting on the potential plan, Hancock said: “We’d only ever do that if it was clinically the right thing for somebody. But in some cases, people need step-down care, they don’t actually need to be in a hospital bed.”
“We work very closely with the social care sector to make sure that capacity is available. But we look at all options. So this isn’t a concrete proposal by any means, but it’s something we look at, because we look at all contingencies.”